May 31, 2010

A New Ride

BF retired his ten-year-old car and got himself a new one. I got a new set of wheels today also. I may have told you that other than my needlework habit, my greatest weakness may be a good vacuum cleaner. I have a stable of them, each of them for a specific task on a specific floor, and each of them sleaker and more beautiful than the last. I may have to name each of my vacuums; this one I'll call Catharine McNeal after the sampler of roughly the same color, since I've been looking at aqua/turquoise/minty green quite a bit. This machine is lighter than the other cannister vacs I have and is ideal for upholstery/blinds/baseboards/stairs as well as the floors. With 6 cats and 3 buns, we are experts in vacuuming here.

Since we slept so long by napping during the weekend, last night we didn't go to bed until 4 a.m., so there was plenty of time for me to start a new project. You should have seen me at 2:00 in the morning, rummaging through my stash. This is Ann Wallace 1817 by the Scarlet Letter.

I did a trial run on some yellowy/gold fabric that was just ok. When I was at the LNS I spotted some 40 ct Newcastle in Flax because the floss colors looked great against it. I also like that it's about half the cost of Lakeside. I mentioned that the house color IRL is brown, not gray, but I changed it to gray. That meant I had to change the accents from brown (outlines) and pale green (window fill-in) to navy blue and pale aqua.

Ann Wallace says: "When I was a girl in 1817, we beat our carpets with carpet whips. We didn't vacuum. And I loathe aqua."
Says Catharine McNeal, sniffing: "You never beat a rug in your life. You lived in a big fancy house with servants to beat the rugs!" Note to Tanya--Catharine McNeal is stitched on 40 count Picture This Plus Legacy. Those colors do pop against the brown blotchy fabric.

Pink: "Elvis, Mom thinks the samplers are talking to her!"

Until later!

May 30, 2010


I have spent most of this holiday weekend either cleaning, stitching or asleep. Since I am sure you don't want to see pictures of me snoring in my stitching chair with my mouth open or napping under the big ceiling fan in the master bedroom (surrounded by cats) or of my blinds-cleaning operation, I'll show you pictures of my stitching progress instead. Progress on Catharine McNeal--I pulled out the satin stitches on the one thistle that I stitched that way and replaced it with normal cross stitch. I'm glad I went with that decision; I'm not balking at the idea of stitching along on this now.

And because I get a tad tired of all that blue-green, I have restarted Charlotte Clayton. I had started it previously on a 32 count Lakeside that was a rosy/yellow color which swamped the colors of the thread and also meant that the coverage was a bit skimpy with the NPI. So I rekitted the cannibalized colors and restarted it this weekend on 40 ct Lakeside in navy bean. I'm much happier with this, although I've adjusted some of the thread colors to compensate for the fabric color.

Here are the buns, having their Sunday nap just prior to the one I had.

Happy week ahead!

May 23, 2010


Phew! Almost didn't manage a post today. It's been a busy weekend, and while I am normally quite the homebody, I was a social butterfly this weekend. Now I'm exhausted, and the work week starts in something less than 12 hours! Because I was in Northern Virginia Saturday, I stopped by In Stitches to pick up a couple of things I ordered and came across this little gem by Cross-eyed Cricket: "Summer." It's charted for DMC on a pale purple R&R Reproductions "Ann-tique Hydrangea." I may stitch it on a Lakeside or PTP fabric though.

This week saw a little bit of work on "Catharine McNeal." I have decided to skip all the satin stitching though and substitute regular cross stitch. It was everywhere: every 2nd set of thistles, the roof of the house, some of the large trees. I don't enjoy doing it, and it's a bit more fragile. The effect is nice, but I'd rather move ahead instead of fiddling with why one strand of a group won't lie flat.

Poor Audrey--I've been too busy with work to go out at lunch and show her the town and take photographs. I'm going to be sending her along to Bunnygirl this week, who's planning to take Audrey with her on vacation. Maybe Audrey can come back when I have something more interesting to show than the inside of my tote bag, although Audrey did enjoy riding the commuter bus. And Hef's Mom: thank you so much for the Craisins and the cat toy and the chocolates which came along with Audrey. The bunnies loved the craisins (and I put a handful in a pilaf I made for the 2-foots too).

Pink is enjoying a cat scratching lounger here. I am enjoying seeing Pink wrestle this and hearing Peaches chew on this instead of the wall!

Happy week ahead!

May 16, 2010


Just a quick post this week. I've stitched a good bit on "Catharine McNeal" but haven't stitched much of anything else. I have a new, busier position at work, which makes me a little panicky because while my old job was a bit of a snore, it was predictable and allowed me to come and go in terms of vacation days and lunch and leaving on time and now...yikes. But hey, if it gets in the way of stitching, it'll have to go! (You can imagine the merriment at home when I announce to BF that I'm quitting my job to stay home and stitch full time.)

Oh, and last week a commenter asked about In Stitches, which has so many of the samplers I post here. In Stitches is on Pear Tree Court in Alexandria, Virginia, and they'll very happily fill an order for you if you give them a call or email them (just click on the link for that information.)

Pink, contemplating a little dash down the hall.

Peaches and Elvis, sharing a wheat grass snack. The grass is grown from seeds right in the special bag. It's a bit gimmicky and too small for enthusiastic rabbits. (It's meant for cats who typically are slightly daintier eaters.) The minute Pink entered the scene, he upended the container and happily chomped on the bottom of the bag.

Happy week ahead, all!

May 09, 2010

Needle Bling and Other Treasures

Picture-heavy post: lots of samplers! Progress on Samplers Revisted's "Catharine McNeal." I really would like to finish this sampler by the end of summer. Note the little bit of bling at the top?

Yesterday I went to In Stitches to pick up some things I ordered. I saw this little needle minder and picked him up. There were so many little critters and objects to choose from: bugs and hats and palm trees, all with rhinestones, by "Needle Bling--Elizabeth Turner Collection." Maybe I won't drop my needle down the sofa cushions now that I have him.

Scarlet Letter Sunday: I had ordered this fabric for Ann Wallace. It's Edinboro Summer Khaki in 36 count. Several of you asked me about the gray AVAS that I'm substituting for the blah brown that's called for. The gray is the skein on the lower left. Now that I have the fabric, I'm not sure it's the right gray. Maybe a gray with greenish tones? Note that the photo of Ann Wallace below shows a darker fabric. I had the chance to see the darker fabric (natural dirty linen, I think it was called) and felt it was too dark.

I took some photos of some of the framed samplers at In Stitches yesterday. You can see Catharine McNeal on the left, and a sampler called "Isabella Jemima Catchpoole 1857" on the right by the same designer. I would like to stitch that one one of these days soon.

By the same designer is "Martha Wood 1853" on the left and "AR 1829" on the right.

I did get this one--an older sampler design by Threads of Gold called "Sarah Munday." I also picked up Threads Through Time's "Ann Rayner." You know--in case I run out of things to stitch.

Little Peaches says she does not remember her mom. My own mom is probably going out for dinner at Ihop with my dad. She will be satisfied with that or the early bird special at Hearth and Kettle or perhaps a turkey sub at Subway, but I feel a little sad that I can't be there to make a favorite dish for her--shrimp or a grilled steak. Happy mother's day, and treat yourselves to something special!

Happy week ahead!

May 02, 2010

Biting Off More than We Can Chew-Scarlet Letter Edition

I went to In Stitches yesterday with every intention of picking up just thread and maybe a zipper project bag or two and perhaps some fabric, certainly not to buy another Scarlet Letter chart. But this chart called out to me from the SL stand, and of course I wound up buying thread for that instead of the other chart I was kitting up. And Patricia, Enabler-in-Chief at In Stitches, said, "it would be a great companion piece for And All Was for An Appill." I like AAWFAA, but I wasn't really going to stitch it, but now I really should, shouldn't I? Or maybe this one, which is a similar style: The Lady and the Castle in an Autumn Landscape. Since school is over and I have sensibly decided to take just a single course this coming semester, I'll have more time to stitch, but even I think this is all a little nuts. But I'm going to try it anyway! Here is my start on "A Parrot, A Leopard and a Lion." I'm using 40 count vintage Navy Bean and AVAS (over two). I'm not doing the tent stitch background. Why use nice linen if you're going to do that?

In any case, I decree this the summer of Scarlet Letter, and I will try to show SL progress each week. And I'm thinking it's high time to re-start the Summer Sunday cocktails as well. Mental note to self to go by the Virginia ABC store and select some interesting things. Today would have been perfect for a frosty cocktail in the silver shaker: it was 90 degrees.

Bet you thought I'd abandoned Catharine McNeal. Nope--I put some time into her this week. She's coming along nicely.

Don't you just love the Picture This Plus Fabric for this project?

Pink and Peaches, having Sunday brunch. Peaches: "I think that I have bitten off more than I can chew." It's fun to watch the buns eat their timothy hay: they chew it down like spaghetti strands--little by little it disappears into their faces.

Along with Outdoor Bunny, whose best feature is that he does not doot in the house. He's rather impatiently waiting for me to put in the garden, which I didn't do this weekend because I stitched instead. Sorry, OB!

Happy week ahead!